From Library Journal
Charles G. Finney began his work in the revivals of the Second Great Awakening from 1824 to 1834 and went on to preach here and abroad for many years. His roll in forming evangelical theology was further enhanced by his long tenure as professor and president of Oberlin College. By his death in 1875, his influence was significant on such diverse subjects as revivalism, racial justice, the holiness movement, and education reform. Hambrick-Stowe (The Practice of Piety, Univ. of North Carolina, 1986) sees Finney as both a cause and product of the uniquely American evangelical spirit still active today. While an original thinker and a powerful speaker, Finney was also a product of the unique blend of Calvinistic pietism and fiercely competitive independence that characterized the rest of the nation. In many ways, he personifies all aspects of the American Evangelical spirit. A good biography with an interesting interpretation; recommended for public and academic libraries.?C. Robert Nixon, Lafayette, Ind
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Hambrick-Stowe's account will appeal not only to readers with a special interest in Finney's life and thought but also to those who seek a better understanding of the historical roots of evangelicalism and the development of U.S. theology in the nineteenth century. Finney's role in Presbyterian denominational conflicts, in the emergence of Congregationalism as a formal denomination, in shaping a revivalist style that continues to mark much evangelical preaching, and in the development of Oberlin College as a theological, educational, and social institution, makes him a singularly important figure in the religious history of the U.S. Hambrick-Stowe narrates Finney's life with admirable clarity, places it in historical context, and provides a thorough bibliographical review for readers inclined to dig deeper. Steve Schroeder